The definition of Usability is the ‘ease of use and learnability of a human-made object’. In present world, usability plays a critical role in a success of a product. We’re living in an era where technology is being replaced at a significant rate. As new products and services come to market, they have a very short time to make a good impression with the users – and this must happen fast; because users now have more than one option that they will consider.
Mobile and Augmented Reality
In a traditional sense, when it comes to usability, we think of diagrams, wireframes, buttons, windows and menus. But with the invention of mobile apps, we have to think far beyond those constraints. With the augmented reality products such as Google Glass, we have to design products in a way that they can be used even without hands or gestures.
With these new emerging technologies, Usability Professionals are now at the highest level of demand. Apple releases a new iPhone almost every year. The fragmented Android devices are released at an even faster rate. Unfortunately due to this fast phase of growth, universities and academic institutions are falling behind in keeping up with equipping the generation of today for the skills required in the commercial world.
The Competitive Advantage of User-Centric-Design
These days most businesses don’t have a technology barrier to release new products. Skilled staff can be hired from virtually anywhere in the world. The technical limitations of databases, servers, payments, cloud storage and real-time communication are almost non-existent. But it’s extremely hard to design products that users will embrace because of ease of use and an intuitive design.
Think you’re up for that challenge? You might have what it takes to become a Usability Professional.
Mobile apps are a new category that falls between software development and web development. Most mobile apps are not as complex as large-scale software development projects, however they’re still complex than most web-sites. Most users expect a lot of features on mobile apps, however UX professionals are restricted for a very small screen to achieve this outcome. So when it comes to app design vs development, how much should you compromise?
First of all, app development costs are not cheap. If you do some research on cost of app development, you’ll see the costs start at the $2000 level as a minimum. Therefore you need to ensure that you get it right the first time. Most often since there are way too many apps on the app store, people will make a first impression of your app within few seconds of using it – and a decision will be made to keep it or uninstall it.
As any experienced User-Experience Professional would suggest, the best thing to do in this situation is to keep the home screen simple and uncluttered. Show the main functions and features on the home screen, and simply direct the users into more features as they use the app. Especially in mobile games, you can hide many unwanted features initially and revel them as the player ‘levels-up’ with the game.
It’s also a good strategy to partner with an app development company who has experience in designing and developing many mobile apps. Such a company will have strategists and dedicated UX professionals to help you to get the most out of your app, and make the first user experience a great one.
Regardless the path you take, you should not compromised your design during the app development phase. The design is what makes an app unique compared to many other apps out there. So if you compromise on design, you face the risk of making the app just like one of those ‘other apps’. As a result, spend the time to consult a professional to get the right design to suit your app.